Turkey’s new emergency decree sends post-coup ‘terrorists’ to mandatory military service

File photo.

Turkish men who are accused of having links to the perceived terror groups will immediately be recruited to do their mandatory military service, according to a new post-coup emergency decree issued on Thursday. The decree, numbered 691, forces all capable individuals who are found to have ties to the terrorist organizations to perform military service.

The decree concerns those who have delayed their mandatory military service without a valid reason and those who were dismissed from their jobs or education over alleged terror links in the aftermath of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.

Turkish laws, before the decree, used to grant exemption from military service or the right to delay it for some time to students, police and military officers. Defence Minister Fikri Işık remarked on the decree saying that the decree also focused on police officers who were exempted from military service.

“If police officers leave their positions before completing their tenth year in the police force they are obliged to fulfill their military duties. But if this duty was exempted for some reason, they would not fulfill their military obligation. This regulation is about those officers who were exempted from their duties,” Işık was quoted as saying by Hurriyet Daily News.

More than 130,000 people including military and police officers, academics, teachers, judges, prosecutors and many from different fields have lost their jobs over ties to alleged terror groups since the failed coup, last summer.

Turkey survived a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting participants of the Gülen movement in jails.

At least 161,751 people were detained or investigated and 50,334 people were arrested in Turkey in the framework of the Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement since the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016, according to statistics reported by state-run Anadolu news agency by basing on information taken from the officials from Turkey’s Justice Minsitry on June 13. (SCF with turkeypurge.com) June 24, 2017

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